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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Speech Act of Requesting by Saudi ESL Learners
by Alsakaker, Saleh Mohammad, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2020, 154; 28087451
Abstract (Summary)

The present study is an investigation of patterns of negative pragmatic transfer from L1 in the speech of intermediate and advanced Saudi ESL learners. The study compares the learners’ performance of the speech act of request in English L2 with that of American native speakers of English and Saudi native speakers of Arabic. The purpose of this study was to identify patterns of L1 pragmatic transfer by the learners with regard to the request strategies and supportive moves they utilized in performing the speech act of request in different situations. The study also investigated whether there was a relationship between the learners’ L2 language proficiency and their L2 pragmatic competence.

The participants in the study were 20 Saudi ESL learners at the intermediate level, 20 Saudi ESL learners at the advanced level, 10 Native Speakers of American English, and 10 Native speakers of Saudi Arabic. Data were collected through a written Discourse Completion Task that elicited responses from the participants to three request scenarios that varied by interlocutor status relative to speaker.

The findings of the study showed that the advanced learners approximated L2 cultural norms while the intermediate learners remained influenced by L1 cultural norms. For example, the intermediate learners deviated from the native speakers of English with regard to their use of supportive moves. Therefore, the findings of the study support the negative correlation hypothesis, which posits that less proficient L2 learners are more likely to transfer their L1 norms than their more proficient counterparts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Morkus, Nader
Commitee: Al-Ani, Salman, Choksy, Jamsheed, Walbridge, John
School: Indiana University
Department: Near Eastern Languages and Cultures
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, English as a Second Language, Multicultural Education
Keywords: Discourse Completion Task, Interlanguage pragmatics, Pragmatic competence, Pragmatic transfer, Speech act of request
Publication Number: 28087451
ISBN: 9798664738544
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